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The Sustainable Network by Sarah Sorensen

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Chapter 39. The Health Net

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The greatest wealth is health.

Virgil

I have already suggested how the network is playing an enormous role in 21st-century research, connecting the world’s intellect and bringing collaborative resources to bear on some very tough problems. Beyond facilitating our understanding of the inner workings of the complex human body, the medical and healthcare fields can use the network to advance the everyday health and wellness of individuals around the world. There are clear social benefits to be derived from the existing network. In fact, the past two decades have seen the network support general healthcare system efficiencies that eventually lead to better treatments and overall improvements in a patient’s health. So, let me skip a stone across it to highlight where the network makes a difference.

For starters, many healthcare providers are using the network to help patients manage their own health. Users can keep track of their daily food intake, access tips for healthy living, query suggestions on daily life, and gather information on reducing their symptoms and managing their illnesses. Doctors now have online office hours. Many actually perform virtual visits and chat with their patients to answer their nonemergency health questions or concerns, such as, “I have poison ivy, what do I do?” There’s a wealth of medical research now available to anyone. Medical ...

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